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Greetings! Railgunfan75 here with my first post of 2016. It is it the time of the year for people to list the best, favorite, or worst series of the previous year and I decided that I would jump on that bandwagon and share with you my picks for my favorite anime of 2015. For this list series that either premiered or concluded in 2015 qualify. So long running series such as Fairy Tail which ran the entire year but didn’t start or finish this year won’t be considered (even though the episodes this year were superb). This list will be my 10 favorite series and will include 9 runner up series and my pick for my favorite series of the year. There are some series which I haven’t gotten around to yet so if you think I missed or shafted a series please leave a comment below. So here are my picks for my favorite series of 2015 starting with a few honorable mentions.
This series has a lot of great moments to it and characters that you can get behind. The plot can be a bit ridiculous but it is that trait which adds to the show’s appeal. Filled with food related fan service and jokes, this series will make you laugh and keep you engaged.While there are a lot of good things in this series, a somewhat predictable plot structure stopped this series from cracking the top ten. This series is worth checking out however. Certainly check this series out if you are a fan of cooking shows or just looking for something a little different in an anime series.
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
One of the most hyped shows of 2015, this series is an enjoyable watch. A rare mystery/fantasy series, Rokka gives the viewers an intriguing mystery set in a gorgeous looking fantasy world. This series does a lot of things right and misses the mark on a few occasions as well. You have a diverse and fascinating cast of characters, a unique anime setting, and a world in which you want to learn more about. The mystery of who is the seventh brave is set up quite nicely and the episodic cliffhangers kept me coming back for more. However, because of the length of the series, you get a rushed ending which leaves quite a few questions unanswered. Despite this, this series is worth taking some time to power through. It didn’t make the top ten of this list, but it certainly a memorable series regardless.
This series I know topped many lists for last year and it is certainly a good series. The hype for the series is understandable. The concept and stories featured in this series are quite refreshing and something that I wish more series and movies would tackle. This series is an emotional roller coaster and leaves you on the edge of your seat concerning the fate of the people involved. The plot twists are really well done as I found myself shocked quite a bit. Plus the opening is really catchy and upbeat surprisingly. The questions of morality and what should be the fate of these individuals are the crux of what make these series work.
And now for the top 10…
10) The Disappearance of Nagato-Yuki Chan
This series is better than many people give it credit for. Sure it is a romance/slice of life series which does follow a lot of the typical tropes but I think if you loom past that, you have a good series here. The story is done quite well with you getting to know and care for these characters. There is quite a bit of humor and drama to be had with this series and closing arc for this series is amongst the best story arcs I have seen. Plus it is more Haruhi! This does take place in an alternate version of the Haruhi universe with the characters we all know and love. Plus the iconic voice casts return to voice these characters! Fans for a long time have asked for a season three to the original series and this is probably as close as we will get- and who doesn’t want more Haruhi?
9) Log Horizon 2nd Season
In my opinion Log Horizon is the most complete “gaming” anime out there. (Sorry SAO fans-though I do enjoy the series.) The second season picks up right where season 1 left off and really doesn’t skip a beat. Now that the universe has been established, the series is able to take things a step further and that includes adding stories which lend themselves well to character development. The fun cast of characters from season 1 returns and are as good as ever (Who doesn’t like Akatsuki right?). The characters are one of the strengths of this franchise anyway so the character development is a welcome addition. This season doesn’t add anything drastic to the formula established in season 1 but said formula didn’t need to change much anyway. Another series which flew under the radar in 2015, this series is worth checking out especially if you are a fan of season 1. I certainly enjoyed this series.
8) Assassination Classroom
The adventures of Koro-Sensei and class 3-E were among the most talked about this past year and for good reason. This series does a lot of things right. The series is a great mix of emotional and comedic moments. The antagonist of the series is actually quite likeable as there are plenty of hi jinks and pop culture references to marvel at. The animation and music are all really well done. Once the series gains momentum, it fires on all cylinders. The thing which I think is especially brilliant about this series is that in some way you don’t want the students to succeed in their attempts as Koro-sensei is a fine teacher and mentor. This is one series that deserves the buzz it received as it stands out as a fun and emotional series with one of the most fascinating characters in any medium.
7) Your Lie In April
If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I would highly recommend that you do so. This series is a prime example of the brilliance and maturity that can be found in an anime series. Despite it’s school setting, this series is really one for adults. An emotional gut check from start to finish, the series does an excellent job of mixing light hearted moments in with a story about growing up and coming to terms with the past and one’s self. The cast of characters change and grow dramatically from start to finish. In addition there is some really lovely music included in this series as well. This is a great series to show any newcomer or curious viewer what the anime medium is capable of and why we are all fans of this great form of entertainment.
6) Durarara x2
How can one sum up this series/franchise in a concise manner? That is almost an impossible task as this is one of the most complex and fascinating series around. Season 1 has been around for a few years now and I was blown away as to how the series which seems frantic and disorganized at first is actually an amazing and complex tale. From mythological creatures to mobsters to high school students, all kinds of characters have a role to play to in this series. These characters make this series great as their tales explore the different aspects of what makes us human even if the characters themselves may not be. Durarara x2 didn’t make a lot of lists and it intrigues me as to why. This series is just brilliant plain and simple. So I guess I can sum up this series concisely.
I didn’t really know what to expect from GATE. I’ll admit the premise seemed a bit cookie cutter to me but I decided to give the series a shot anyway and I am glad I did. What could of easily been an obnoxious harem anime actually is a story full of heart, emotion, action and intrigue. The main protagonist is a cool and hilarious character, the side characters are all a blast to watch and contribute to the series in a positive way, and the plot is perfectly paced with a spot on mix of action and story. The series explores the logistics and cultural interactions of such an scenario and they do this quite GATE is a really entertaining watch. I am really excited for season 2 (more chances to see Rory in action-yes please) and the opportunity to see these characters in action once again .
I do acknowledge that this is not a popular choice (especially with the ending) but I really enjoyed this series. I will concede that this series would have been much better if it were 24 episodes vs 12 episodes but for me the journey was worthwhile even if was too short. The concept behind this series was a nice twist on the whole characters with powers story trope. With a focus on the personal and societal consequences of such powers existing, we got a series which was capable of tugging at our heart strings. In addition you also have nice bits of humor and a plot which gives you a reason to root for these characters (That Pizza sauce!). Round this off with a completely amazing soundtrack and gorgeous looking animation and you have one of the great series of 2015 despite public opinion. At the end of it all, I really enjoyed and was entertained by this series and that is all that matters right?
This second act continues the brilliance of season 1. For me what makes Noragami great is that the series is able to take gods and make them human. There are plenty of points where it is easy to forget that Yato and his fellow gods are actually not human. The characterizations in this series are just plain amazing. You feel for these characters and the challenges and tragedies that these characters experience. This season was a huge character jump for the protagonist Yato, a character who was amazing to begin with but becomes a guy you can really root for by the end of the series. All of the characters are very entertaining and very human in their natures. They make mistakes and grow from these mistakes. Noragami also provides a riveting and emotional story which does not suffer from the typical pitfalls of a short series. Gorgeously animated with the catchiest opening theme of the year, Noragami is a pretty complete experience and you are doing yourself a disservice if you skip this series.
2)One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a series which seems like it is really simple but is in fact a deep exploration of the superhero genre. from the opening sequence to the end of the final episode, the audience is given a commentary of the insane and sometimes nonsensical nature of superheroes. From the incredibly wacky villains to a sidekick with the typical tragic backstory, this series hits all of the tropes. What makes this series brilliant is the caveat that the series pokes fun at itself and the genre. The idea of character who can defeat opponents in one punch sounds like a boring show but the fact that the series explores the downside to such a character makes this series really entertaining. We also get a main character in Saitama who is one of the most epic and funniest characters in years. All of this combines to make a show which cannot be missed.
1) Fate/ Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Fate fans rejoice as we are treated to a gorgeous and entertaining series. This series feels like a big budget epic adventure but an adventure with substance. Unlimited Blase works was one of those few series which lived up to the hype. With a plot filled with twists and turns, drama and excitement, and epic battles Unlimited Blade Works is a spectacle from start to finish. The plot was paced brilliantly with episodes ending in well timed cliffhangers, the characters are amongst the best in any anime (if you hate Rin and Saber you are not alive), the premise is sheer awesomeness, and the presentation is freaking amazing. Unlimited Blade Works is a very flashy series but the flashiness is capable of being a mind blowing experience. You have epic battles mixed with a very compelling debate concerning what it means to be a hero. I simply could not wait for the next episode each week. It is in my top spot because of all of these things. Whether you are a fan of Fate/Zero or are new to the universe, this series is certainly a must watch.
So concludes my top ten favorites list of anime from 2015. This list includes the series which stood out to me from the last year. I acknowledge that many of these series are either sequels or build off of a preestablished concept but these just happened to be the series which I got really excited about. If there was a series that I may have overlooked, or have any recommendations please leave them in the comments below. I am looking forward to the new season and new year from the world of anime. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off!
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